16 hour report: Drama hits leading Toyota
As the race turned into its 14th hour, having led the 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans for the best part of ten hours and all through the night, the car stopped on track at Arnage with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel. The cause of the stoppage was diagnosed as an electrical problem relating to the wiring loom and it became an official retirement from the race.
The No.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro was then leading the race with a clear 3 lap lead but just as the clock ticked towards 07h00 the car was brought back into the pits for attention to the engine and Marcel Fässler has had to frustratingly sit and watch his lead disappear as the mechanics work furiously to fix the car.
The No.1 sister car is now placed to take the lead, with the No.20 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber poised to take second overall, 40 seconds behind the Audi. Still running, but having lost considerable time due to technical issues, are the No.8 Toyota and the No.14 Porsche – the German hybrid car having gone off track just after 06h00 at Indianapolis while Marc Lieb was at the wheel.
The No.12 Rebellion R-One LMP1-L is currently splitting the LMP2 field (10th overall). The No.35 G-Drive sponsored OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 and No.36 Signatech Alpine continue to head the LMP2 category with the ELMS championship leading Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier running third. Still circulating but well in arrears is the No.27 WEC entry from SMP Racing.
Most of the LMGTE Pro and Am cars have come into the pits for not only scheduled fuel and tyre stops but also brake pad and/or disc changes, the class leading No.51 AF Corse Ferrari being a notable exception. The 2013 World Championship winning team has a 1m22second lead over the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Stefan Mücke who has been on a charge. Third in class is the No.92 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR.
Aston Martin Racing’s Dane-train continues its dominance at the top of the LMGTE Am class, the No.95 car now having a 3-lap lead over the No.88 Proton Competition 911 RSR of Klaus Bachler. Recovering from earlier issues and now third in the category is the No.61 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Marco Cioci.